Millennials are a great fit for the global workforce, thanks to their lifestyle, values and international mindset. The generation born 1981-1996 has come of age in a world increasingly interconnected, where their physical and virtual lives take place in a global society. Millennials are a mobile generation with a global mindset.
On average, Millennials represent 38% of the globally mobile workforce. Of the millennials deployed on international assignments, the majority undertake short-term, project or talent development assignments. Mercer data shows, however, that 31% of multinational companies also deploy millennials on long-term assignments.
What makes millennials such a good fit for international assignments?
The younger generations are opting to focus on career development, the reason why the vast majority of millennials choose to take on an international assignment. Delaying marriage and having children later in life has made relocation much more appealing to the generation of 23-38 year olds, with 77% of millennial respondents to one American study declaring that they would relocate if given the opportunity.
Millennials value experience, especially travel, and aspire to invest in their communities. The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey shows that they are less likely to start their own business, instead, 57% of millennials list travel and seeing the world as their top aspiration. This aspiration sits ahead of owning a home (49%) and starting a family (36%).
Deloitte also found that millennial women were 22% more interested in seeing the world than men of the same age. Traditionally, women have had fewer opportunities to relocate for work than men and still represent a smaller proportion of those selected for international assignments. The When Women Thrive Report reveals that women are increasingly recognised for their flexibility, adaptability and emotional intelligence, traits essential to the globally mobile workforce. As Gen X and millennial women overtake their male counterparts in educational attainment, and are contributing to the workforce in greater numbers than previous generations, the number of millennial women on international assignments is bound to increase.
Millennials live in a global world, both in the physical and the virtual. They travel, and have done so since childhood or early adulthood. Millennials prioritise international travel more than any other generation and have an interest in other countries. Of millennials who have undertaken an international assignment, 61% cited discovering new countries/cultures as a key motivation. The millennial generation is also tech savvy, relying on global connectivity for social networking, learning and career development. Millennials see their lives as global, and global mobility as a natural part of it.
Deploying a globally mobile workforce has numerous benefits for the company as well as its employees. With millennial values, mindset and experience well-suited to an international assignment, it’s time to capitalise on the global strengths of our millennial workforce.